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iPhone 4S still in store stock, Siri woes affect Can., UK

updated 12:55 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011

Siri commands extremely limited outside US

Many US Apple Stores still have some iPhone 4S units in stock, despite sizable interest so far, anecdotal evidence and investigation by MacNN suggests. One explanation may stem from rumors that Apple decided to ramp up production further ahead of launch than usual, granting more breathing space. Work on iOS 5 may ultimately been responsible for the delay; the firmware has over 200 changes, including iCloud and the 4S-only Siri voice system.

Apple also has more alternative distribution points now than it initially did for the iPhone 4, such as Verizon, Sprint and Sam's Club. While Apple tends to favor its own stores when it comes to stock, people may be choosing third-party vendors for the sake of proximity and avoiding long lineups.

Outside the US, meanwhile, 4S buyers in Canada and the UK are complaining that Siri functions are too limited. While the system can handle a lot of iPhone functions, like calls, reminders, weather forecasts and text messaging, two major functions -- maps and search for local businesses -- are currently US-only. These options will only extend to other countries in 2012, Apple's Siri FAQ indicates.

A more serious issue may be accents, as anecdotes received by MacNN and seen elsewhere on the web suggest that Siri may sometimes have trouble understanding voices even in regions the system is designed for. Siri officially understands US, UK and Australian English, and by virtue of the US, Canadian dialects. The only other languages supported at the moment are French and German; options like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish are due in 2012. A Siri expansion could potentially coincide with the launch of the iPad 3, which is generally expected in March or April. Some people have wondered why Siri is missing from the iPad 2, since the tablet is equally as powerful as the 4S.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    completely strategic

    Siri is a deadly weapon, so it shouldn't be taken lightly. There is so much cannibalization/self-destruction on the PC tablet front, so let them finish themselves first. If they dare to come out something that compares favorably remotely, then release Siri and let it out for the kill.

    'Some people have wondered why Siri is missing from the iPad 2, which is equally as powerful as the 4S.'

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: completely strategic

    Siri is a deadly weapon

    Um, not quite. How is it that such tech which has existed for years on computers and other devices, and is still niche, is a 'deadly weapon' because it's on the iphone?

    Oh, and when do we get to conviently forget that Apple didn't create siri, they just bought the company to use their tech. If MS did such a thing, we'd hear how they can't innovate or create.

  1. facebook_Collin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Oct 2011


    Siri will improve with time.

    However, it is not surprising that Apple bought a voice recognition technology company. Apple's in house voice recognition efforts have been present in Mac operating systems since Mac OS 7 (possibly earlier) so this is something Apple has had an interest in for a long time.

  1. aussiearn

    Joined: Dec 1969



    LOL @ testi Siri on the desktop is not the same experience as on a mobile device, any person claiming so is just plain ridiculous. Yes apple did buy Siri, but unlike the downloadable version available for multiple platforms apple put their own stamp on it and integrate it into the very heart of the iPhone. Hardware needs a killer App to grow, as Apps need killer hardware. The iPhone is the killer hardware for Siri.

    LOL is funny testi is so upset over apple buying Siri, I guess he just wanted them to not pay Siri and just use the technology. Oh I forgot, that is Googles method for Java and if Apple did that testi would probably complain they were copying Google and not innovating. ROTFLMAO

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T iPhone 4S stock

    I bought my phone from AT&T as a preorder early in the day last Friday. They still say 2 or 3 weeks for delivery. I walked into the local AT&T store at 11 am and found that they had MANY of the iPhone 4S ready to be sold. I asked them to cancel my preorder and I just sell me a phone in the store. The sales guy and store manager told me I was out of luck and that I would have to wait the 3 weeks.

    How does that make sense? My preorder had not shipped and my card had not been charged. I finally told them I wanted the district manager's contact information so that I could let him/her know that I was going to refute the charge on my credit card thereby cancelling the sale and the contract 2-year renewal. Plus, I told them I was heading to a different carrier immediately. The store manager went into the back and 5 minutes later the "district manager" (riiiiiiggggghhhhttt) came out and said they would cancel the preorder and sell me a phone from the current stock.

    I took the deal, but the more I think about, the more I think I will return my 4S after the preorder refund is complete and just go back to an old 3GS until I decide where to go after I dump AT&T.

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